16 July 2013

The Higher Obscurity

Another outbreak of the French Disease ....

Schizorevolutions vs. Microfascisms: A Deleuzo-Nietzschean Perspective on State, Security, and Active/Reactive Networks' by Athina Karatzogianni and Andy Robinson is
based on a distinction between states and networked movements on the one hand, and between two types of network on the other. As we have argued in Power, Resistance and Conflict (Karatzogianni and Robinson 2010), networks can be divided into the affinity-active network form and the reactive network form. These derive from the distinctions between active (or schizoid) and reactive (or paranoiac) forces or desires in Deleuzian/Nietzschean theory. Reactive forces are associated with closure of meaning and identity. Active forces are associated with difference and transformation: ‘only active force asserts itself, it affirms its difference and makes its difference an object of affirmation’ (Deleuze, 2006: 55-6). Active forces are connected to affirmative desire, and reactive forces to nihilistic desire; affirmation and negation are ‘becoming-active’ and ‘becoming-reactive’ respectively (Deleuze, 2006: 54). For Deleuze, active forces are primary, as without them, reactive forces could not be forces (Deleuze, 2006: 41). Reactive force can dominate active force, but not by becoming active – rather, by alienating and disempowering it (2006: 57). Active desire subordinates social production to desiring-production, while reactive desire does the opposite. While open space is a necessary enabling good from the standpoint of active desire, it is perceived as a threat by the threatened state, because it is space in which demonised Others can gather and recompose networks outside state control. Hence, for the threatened state, open space is space for the enemy, space of risk. Given that open space is in contrast necessary for difference to function (since otherwise it is excluded as unrepresentable or excessive), the attempts to render all space closed and governable involve a constant war on difference which expands ever more deeply into everyday life. Inevitably, horizontal networks flow around the state’s restrictions, moving into residual unregulated spaces, gaps in the state’s capacity to repress, across national borders, or into the virtual. Networks tend to take a reactive form when exposed to a hostile context. Bourdieu similarly argues that neoliberalism strengthens reactive networks by demoralising and producing emotional turmoil (1998: 100), while Bauman links paranoiac social forces to insecurity (Bauman 2000). This discussion focuses on unraveling the interplay between security/insecurity, active/reactive, schizorevolutionary/microfascist, and autonomous desire/fear management in contemporary agency, state (in)security, and resistance movements.
It perhaps sounds better in Klingon.